The Champaign Police Department is investigating fraudulent activity after being alerted by two local businesses that their payment machines were compromised by skimming devices – a malicious credit/debit card reader attached to the real payment terminal, or inserted inside, by scammers to steal financial and personal information from unwitting customers.
Following police investigation, surveillance video identified two white male suspects (pictured below), who entered the Circle K Gas Station (1301 S. Mattis) and the Mach 1 Gas Station (902 W. Bloomington) on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, to initiate the scam. In each location, the suspects are seen shopping and then approach the cash register to cash out. At that time, one subject distracts the store attendant while the other places the skimming device over the credit/debit card processor.
The skimming devices were removed from the locations on Jan. 16 and we are not aware of any additional devices there or elsewhere. Any individual who completed a transaction at either of these two locations on Jan. 15 or Jan. 16 is encouraged to check their financial statements to ensure no suspicious activity.
Although skimming can be difficult to detect, patrons are encouraged to check for signs of tampering before using a payment machine, and to protect their pin number when inserting it. Using a phone for payment is also encouraged — apps now can alert you to possible skimmers.
If you have information on these two individuals, or anyone carrying out crimes of this nature, please contact police at 217-351-4545. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may also submit tips to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.
Champaign Police reminds citizens information submitted to Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous. Calls are routed to a third-party national call center that receives your information, completes a tips information form, and then passes the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Caller ID tracking is not utilized by Crime Stoppers and conversations are not recorded.